President Gotabaya Rajapaksa agreed to several proposals put forward by the representatives of All Island Professional Educators’ Association pertaining to issues connected with recommencing tuition classes. The teachers pointed out the difficultly limiting the number of students to 250 where the average attendance is more than 1000. Reviewing the situation with the health authorities who were present President granted permission to conduct classes for 500 students in two time slots.
These decisions were taken during a discussion held at the Presidential Secretariat yesterday to find solutions to issues faced by both students and teachers with the recommencing of tuition classes which had to be halted due to COVID – 19 pandemic.
Students in A/L and O/L classes lost the opportunity to pursue their studies for more than 5 months due to Easter Sunday Attacks in 2019 and COVID–19 global pandemic this year. Students sitting for the Grade 5 Scholarship exam too face a similar situation. Considering these facts the tuition teachers requested the President to consider the possibility of postponing relevant examinations. President instructed the Minister of Education to re-consider exam dates after through consultation with teachers, students and parents. President advised the Commissioner of Examinations to increase the number of questions under a particular paper enabling students to have multiple choices.
The current Educational Service Tax stands at 24%. President also agreed to consider the request made by the tuition teachers to amend the percentage.
The President’s attention was drawn to the proposal by the Buddhist Advisory Council not to have tuition classes on Sunday mornings and on Full Moon Poya days. The Teachers expressed their fullest consent to refrain from having tuition classes on Poya Days. It was also decided to review the possibility of cancelling the holding of tuition classes on Sunday mornings which are limited for the GCE Advanced Level students.